Carbon Monoxide is a potentially deadly gas that is produced by combustion fumes.
The fumes are often generated by small engines, cars, trucks, stoves, lanterns, charcoal and wood, gas ranges or heating systems.
When these fumes build up in an enclosed space people or animals can be sickened, or even die from breathing it in. CO is also colorless, and odorless.
The Centers for Disease Control has a fact sheet that can help you understand the risks of CO poisoning.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO ingestion can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.
How does CO poisoning work?
Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death.